Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Harvest in full swing #gardening #minnesota

20 Comments

It’s that time of year again, when the veggies are going strong (so are the weeds 😐 ), so I figured I’d give you a little update.

I’ve been picking green beans for a couple weeks, and cucumbers for almost as long. Picking cucumbers is like a scavenger hunt. Or a game of hide-and-seek. How many cukes do you see in the picture?

How many cukes? I see three.

And of course, we can’t forget the venerable–or is it fruitful?–zucchini.

Hi, Zucchini! I see you.

The tomato plants are succumbing to whatever blight hit them, but we are getting some tomatoes. There is nothing like garden-ripe tomatoes! I just hope they ripen before the plants die. I thought I planted resistant varieties, but apparently they aren’t resistant enough. The plants look so sad I won’t post pictures of them. The blight, a fungus, lives in the soil, and even though I mulch them, they still get sick.

The rest of the garden is doing well, though (except for the zucchini plant I had to pull because it was sick).

From R to L: Brussels sprouts, green beans, peppers, and kale in the corner.

Speaking of brussels sprouts, this year some of the sprouts are looking really good despite the stupid cabbage worms. I couldn’t help myself; I picked some and will be enjoying them soon.

So, I got this variety of peppers, Mariachi, that I thought were like the snacking peppers. The little plastic tag with the picture on looked like the snacking peppers. So I planted two plants. Come to find out when I read the little tag more closely (after I planted them and tasted the first pepper, of course) that they are mildly hot.

Yep. They are.

Mariachi peppers–supposed to turn orange when ripe

They are less spicy than jalapenos, for the most part, but snacking? Depends, I guess.

The kohlrabi are standing strong against the cabbage worms, and I’m not even going to check the kale, because they are in the same family. I know they have those little green worms–sorry, caterpillars–on them. Anyway, we need to eat some beets first.

I picked veggies last night, and felt some pride as my daughter ate fresh kohlrabi and cukes we just picked for supper. And a little chicken breast for protein. My son? He would eat the green beans, but not the other stuff.

As I was in the garden, I thought about growing up with a home garden, and how of my three brothers and one sister, we all have gardens. Two of my brothers have younger families, so they have bigger gardens. My other brother is an empty-nester, but he likes hot peppers. My sister just moved to a new house, but she always asks my advice on what to plant, especially when she has little direct sunlight in the back yard.

My mother instilled a love of gardening in us, or at least we were all exposed to the gardens she had while we were growing up. I find it both interesting and comforting that we all continue the tradition. Even my dad, who now lives in a townhome, has a cherry tomato plant on his tiny patio.

Peppers, kale, onions, tomatoes, and potatoes in the back

As for writing? I’ve been crazy busy this past week, with my dad having eye surgery, and me being the good daughter and providing taxi service and a watchful eye. I finally have a few days to decompress, and write. At least that’s the plan right now, so I’m intending to get back to book 2. And my homework.

Have a wonderful writing weekend!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, seven chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

20 thoughts on “Harvest in full swing #gardening #minnesota

  1. What a beautiful garden, Julie! Don’t you love it when everything is growing and getting ready to be harvested? Thanks for sharing the ‘photos!

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    • Yes, I love picking and eating fresh veggies, until they overwhelm. Some things I can leave until I’m ready, like the beets, onion, and potatoes. We so often get everything ripe at the same time, but can only eat it so fast. The people at work love me–or rather, my veggies 😀

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  2. Your garden looks so much like my sister’s, though hers is smaller and without the cat!

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    • Somehow smaller sounds much more appealing to me 😀 This year’s garden is smaller, but still plenty big. I went out to the garden last night, and found Zoey slinking around. I called to her, and she snuck into the raspberry patch. I guess she wasn’t in the mood for a quick petting session 😀

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  3. I love all your pictures, Julie, especially of thr brussel sprouts. I love them, but never tried to grow them. My garden is slower atvmy elevation. My kale and tomates doing well but my cucumbers and zucchini are a few weeks away. I love fresh veggies though. Have a great writing and gardening week!

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  4. Man, your garden looks terrific! Sorry about the sad tomatoes. So great that your whole fam has kept up the gardening tradition. It’s a wonderful one. I hope my kids will too, though our garden isn’t very extensive.
    That may be my favorite picture of Zoey yet! I just want to rub my face in her side.

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  5. Your garden looks wonderful, Julie. Wow. You’re rolling in veggies! I think the last picture I saw was mostly dirt. Ha ha. Mine has been seriously neglected since I’ve barely been home. Even so, it’s still producing. I get out there every chance I can. Have fun harvesting and canning!

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    • Yes, rolling in veggies is an apt description! It’s at the point where I need to go out every other day to pick, and I’ll bring a lot of the veggies to work; school is starting up in a couple weeks, so there aren’t enough people here to keep up 😀 Hubs wants me to do refrigerator pickles, so that’s about the extent of my canning this year. Next year I might have to do regular dill pickles again.

      Have a great week, Diana!

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  6. If the tomato plants didn’t get moved to a different spot every other year, they did poorly. One year I used grass clippings for mulching and that did not turn out well. One year the horn worms were so bad they had to be picked off every day. Nasty things and they tended to take a hole out of one and move on to another. No chance of planting where I live now. Just a small flowerbed plot out front of the villa. My adjacent neighbor uses the wood chip mulch that is loaded with all sorts of chemicals. Sigh.

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    • I try to rotate crops, too, as much as I can, but sometimes things don’t wor out like I envision. And I had a couple years of hornworms, too. Stupid caterpillars! I usually use grass clippings, but this year the power company came out to trim a bunch of trees, so we have a pile of wood chips–no chemicals–I’ll use next year. Crossing my fingers that most of the tomatoes will get ripe before the plants die completely.

      Have a wonderful week!

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  7. The garden looks great, Julie!

    If you stuff the peppers with cream cheese, it’ll cut the heat so you can snack on them.

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  8. Fresh garden veggies! There is nothing better!

    I think it’s so cool that your mother passed that love of gardening on to all of you. I know it’s a lot of work, but it must be a passion, too. Your garden always looks amazing. And for the record, it took me a long time to spot the third cucumber in that photo!

    Hugs to Zoey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mae! Every year I learn/figure out something new to try in the garden. You should have seen my first years–talk about weedy takeover! And picking cucumbers is like hide-and-seek. Just like zucchini, there’s always the one that I miss until it’s the size of, well, way bigger than it should be. The chickens love those!

      Have a great week! And I’m putting in a request for more Raven pics 😀

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  9. You’ve got a nice harvest! We got a nice harvest of our cherry tomatoes and my wife made a nice little salad with them.

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